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  1. #1
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    Austin Rattler 2019 info

    Hello all,
    I've been a longtime viewer but never participated in any discussions and today I have a question. I have decided to sign up for the Austin Rattler and they changed the venue to Revielle Peak Ranch. Does anyone have any information on the riding there? I am coming from Western NC where the riding seems to be much different.
    Looking at videos, it seems pretty smooth and not too craggy but reading some some things, they say it's short and punchy with lots of up and downs. I've looked at the course profile and it doesn't seem to be that way though. Anyway, any advice for a guy who really wants to be fit enough for this coming out of winter heavy. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    If you are used to riding Pisgah, you will probably be just fine. You may want to prepare with some big days on the bike out there.

    Reveille has several loops historically on it. Reveille Peak loop and Race loop are extremely chunky with the big rough granite slabs and opportunities to damage parts. The good news for you is they probably will only use some of this.

    The owner has been cutting a new trail with a mini bulldozer for the past two years to use for endurance races which is much milder. "race loop" Is too difficult to hold a race out there and traffic would be horrendous. Reveille peak loop reminds me of picking through "made in the shade" in Sedona.

    You are going to do lots of jeep road and league loop and parts of Race loop and other trails. As the description says, you will be riding on Granite slab at times, even on roads.

    Where it turns chunky, you will be putting out very spikey power and it will be impossible to ride at steady tempo. I am not sure what your definition of punchy climbs are, but yes, that is what the course is.

    League loop is the trail they use for NICA. Its very fast and green/blue and flowy.
    The Jeep road is Jeep road usually made finely crushed granite
    When they run the enduros out there, it is known as a Full face Venue. There are severe consequences and the granite is not forgiving to Bikes, Heads, knees and elbows. Its super grippy, even in the rain which means it will grab your tires and send you OTB in spots. This venue is known in Texas as the only place you can ride when its literally pouring down rain.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    If you are used to riding Pisgah, you will probably be just fine. You may want to prepare with some big days on the bike out there.

    Reveille has several loops historically on it. Reveille Peak loop and Race loop are extremely chunky with the big rough granite slabs and opportunities to damage parts. The good news for you is they probably will only use some of this.

    The owner has been cutting a new trail with a mini bulldozer for the past two years to use for endurance races which is much milder. "race loop" Is too difficult to hold a race out there and traffic would be horrendous. Reveille peak loop reminds me of picking through "made in the shade" in Sedona.

    You are going to do lots of jeep road and league loop and parts of Race loop and other trails. As the description says, you will be riding on Granite slab at times, even on roads.

    Where it turns chunky, you will be putting out very spikey power and it will be impossible to ride at steady tempo. I am not sure what your definition of punchy climbs are, but yes, that is what the course is.

    League loop is the trail they use for NICA. Its very fast and green/blue and flowy.
    The Jeep road is Jeep road usually made finely crushed granite
    When they run the enduros out there, it is known as a Full face Venue. There are severe consequences and the granite is not forgiving to Bikes, Heads, knees and elbows. Its super grippy, even in the rain which means it will grab your tires and send you OTB in spots. This venue is known in Texas as the only place you can ride when its literally pouring down rain.

    Awesome info! Thank you for the response. I do ride Pisgah but Bent Creek mostly right now. Tsali seemed like a decent comparison for terrain so I'm going to be out there about once a week.

    As for punchy climbs, it's the short steep climbs that make me go anaerobic that kill me. I once ran a half marathon around a lake in Greensboro after training with long climbs that I could settle into.. a few of those little climbs and I was toast.

    I've never ridden in Texas and am looking forward to it. Thanks again

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    Quote Originally Posted by boonegoon View Post
    Awesome info! Thank you for the response. I do ride Pisgah but Bent Creek mostly right now. Tsali seemed like a decent comparison for terrain so I'm going to be out there about once a week.

    As for punchy climbs, it's the short steep climbs that make me go anaerobic that kill me. I once ran a half marathon around a lake in Greensboro after training with long climbs that I could settle into.. a few of those little climbs and I was toast.

    I've never ridden in Texas and am looking forward to it. Thanks again
    Most of Texas Racing Punchy. Power profiles send you 110-150% of FTP for 15 sec-3 minutes if you want to keep up with the groups. They dont immediately go down either, so its good to be prepared to immediately settle in to tempo or sweet spot after those efforts.

    Its funny, the thing about the classic routes at Reveille that my wife hates is that the constant rock gardens mean you dont really ride at a steady hard effort and she doesnt feel like she got a great workout. A lot of those trails have extremely spiky efforts to ride them at a fast pace.

    I do expect the trails in the Race though to have a lot more classic XC stuff.

    This is indicative of what you will be riding a lot of the time:
    League loop/beginner loop
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfkCyUQpyos

    The fun stuff which is likely to be not entirely included in the loop. There should be samplings of this, but I bet they wont go through any bottlenecks. Though, it would be a lot cooler if they did.
    https://youtu.be/INCmYeGwgMk?t=187
    Or super D
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uYjro5MdRU
    This is definitely not in the race from looking at the maps. Not to mention the Mandatory 3'-5' Drops

  5. #5
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    Just to echo some of FJ's comments. I have no experience at the Reveille Ranch, but I have ridden the Rattler.
    I found the Austin awards ceremony very telling and interesting... I'm from California. Most of our racing includes long climbs and long descents. Big races in my area are usually won by racers from Colorado and California... states with altitude, long climbs and long descents.
    Rattler was dominated by racers from the mid-west. Riders who were used to punchy riding, no long climbs to 'settle-in' and no long downhills to recover.
    At Austin... I felt like I was 'on the gas' all day. You are always powering across flats or sprinting back up to speed after a short climb or technical section. It was totally different racing for me and I cramped like never before at the end.
    Good luck!
    TTUB - Ventura County California

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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    Most of Texas Racing Punchy. Power profiles send you 110-150% of FTP for 15 sec-3 minutes if you want to keep up with the groups. They dont immediately go down either, so its good to be prepared to immediately settle in to tempo or sweet spot after those efforts.

    Its funny, the thing about the classic routes at Reveille that my wife hates is that the constant rock gardens mean you dont really ride at a steady hard effort and she doesnt feel like she got a great workout. A lot of those trails have extremely spiky efforts to ride them at a fast pace.

    I do expect the trails in the Race though to have a lot more classic XC stuff.
    This is indicative of what you will be riding a lot of the time:
    League loop/beginner loop
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfkCyUQpyos

    The fun stuff which is likely to be not entirely included in the loop. There should be samplings of this, but I bet they wont go through any bottlenecks. Though, it would be a lot cooler if they did.
    https://youtu.be/INCmYeGwgMk?t=187
    Or super D
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uYjro5MdRU
    This is definitely not in the race from looking at the maps. Not to mention the Mandatory 3'-5' Drops

    Man,thanks for the info. I did look at some videos before posting and after studying the profile of the course I think the riding will be more like the first video than the others. I am excited and appreciate the frankness about the punchy climbs. I'll make sure I prepare better for that.
    Some of those videos really make me excited!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTUB View Post
    Just to echo some of FJ's comments. I have no experience at the Reveille Ranch, but I have ridden the Rattler.
    I found the Austin awards ceremony very telling and interesting... I'm from California. Most of our racing includes long climbs and long descents. Big races in my area are usually won by racers from Colorado and California... states with altitude, long climbs and long descents.
    Rattler was dominated by racers from the mid-west. Riders who were used to punchy riding, no long climbs to 'settle-in' and no long downhills to recover.
    At Austin... I felt like I was 'on the gas' all day. You are always powering across flats or sprinting back up to speed after a short climb or technical section. It was totally different racing for me and I cramped like never before at the end.
    Good luck!
    Thanks for the input! I ran a bunch of trail races a few years ago and have had similar experiences. Ugh! Funny story, I have a friend who came east from CO to run stumpjump in Chattanooga. He's a stud who won Leadville 100 and even he got worked by the constant undulations of that area. It's one thing to have a few of those but any endurance distance event is a total different expererience! Thanks again for the info!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTUB View Post
    Just to echo some of FJ's comments. I have no experience at the Reveille Ranch, but I have ridden the Rattler.
    I found the Austin awards ceremony very telling and interesting... I'm from California. Most of our racing includes long climbs and long descents. Big races in my area are usually won by racers from Colorado and California... states with altitude, long climbs and long descents.
    Rattler was dominated by racers from the mid-west. Riders who were used to punchy riding, no long climbs to 'settle-in' and no long downhills to recover.
    At Austin... I felt like I was 'on the gas' all day. You are always powering across flats or sprinting back up to speed after a short climb or technical section. It was totally different racing for me and I cramped like never before at the end.
    Good luck!
    This is quite true. I am a real heavy Cat 1 racer with low FTP and would get destroyed on a long climb where I had to ride at Threshold. When I was Cat 3, I used to think it was a really climby course. Now I realize as a much faster racer that its a repeat of 30-45 second hills at 500+ watts with 20 second recovery.

    The reveille profile is going to be more rolling, with the exception of the decision point climb. and rocks will limit smooth power delivery in some sections, so knowing how to push a low cadence and make power will be rewarded.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    This is quite true. I am a real heavy Cat 1 racer with low FTP and would get destroyed on a long climb where I had to ride at Threshold. When I was Cat 3, I used to think it was a really climby course. Now I realize as a much faster racer that its a repeat of 30-45 second hills at 500+ watts with 20 second recovery.

    The reveille profile is going to be more rolling, with the exception of the decision point climb. and rocks will limit smooth power delivery in some sections, so knowing how to push a low cadence and make power will be rewarded.

    https://ridewithgps.com/trips/314132...699.1549486374


    Take a gander at the map of the course when you fee like it. I think you're right about it being more rolling. I could be wrong but I don't think decision point is on here??

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    Part of it is in their at mile 13.5 starting point. But it looks like it meanders off onto trail.

    I really canít make out a lot of the trail map from mile 14 on. They have really cut through all of the sweet singletrack to build this new trail so who knows what is in store. It was a huge bummer when they did it, because it is kind of a mess out there now when just riding and trying to find any flow or routes. But the owner needed to make money and his real money maker is military hikes and Spartan trail running races.

    Maybe you will get lucky and it will use some of the fun enduro flow lines. Not the chunky high consequence stuff that could end your day. :-)


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  11. #11
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    I went out and tried to pre-ride a loop today. I had the course loaded on my Garmin 500, but it didn't help that much. Course was not marked and there are a bunch of decision points. There were multiple groups out there trying to find the course and we kept running into each other and we were all struggling to figure things out. Anyway, I think I hit all the trails in the first 12 miles or so before getting totally lost on some of the other sections.

    The first 12 miles had a bunch of little steep climbs. Nothing extreme or long, but I would have liked a lower gear (had a 36/50). Unlike the old Rattler course at Rocky Hill, there is never a chance to just get in a groove and pedal. A lot of it is wide, but not what I'd consider jeep road. Also, there is a lot of fast short downhills that have flat or off-camber turns at the bottom with loose rock. Again, very different from the Rocky hill where you can bomb down most anything at full speed. There was nothing technical on any of the sections I rode. I've ridden out there once before and there is some pretty technical stuff, but I don't think they would include that in the Rattler. I do think there will be a lot of wrecks on the downhill stuff.

    I am going to reach out to the folks a RPR and see if they plan to mark the course soon. Otherwise, I may buy a better garmin that allows me to zoom in and hopefully be able to navigate the course.

    It's hard to say how the times/speed will compared to Rocky Hill based on my limited ride today (and all the backtracking), but I'm guessing it will be much slower. Seems like more of a climber's course, I need to drop some lbs.

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    Looks like a 21 mile lap, so for the LT100 qualifier Iím guessing 2 laps?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    Looks like a 21 mile lap, so for the LT100 qualifier Iím guessing 2 laps?
    3 laps, ~100k

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    I got out there again this weekend and rode the entire loop. They have it well marked now. Nothing really technical, but the 2nd half of the course hits the granite sections quite a bit. There are definitely enough downhill sections to could reward the skilled and brave/dumb/young. Boy is it a lot of punchy climbing. It seems like you are always turning and going up and down. My Garmin elevation only said ~2300 feet for the lap, but it felt like more. I spent about 3 hours doing the loop, but just in exploring pace.

    I think under 6 hours will be hard to do for the race. The lottery cutoff for the old rattler course was 7 hours, I think they will need to bump it up to 8 hours for this course.

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    Another update - rode again yesterday.

    My lap time yesterday was about 2:20 with at least 5 minutes wasted on navigation (they still have a few spots that need better marking). I'm also finding the course to be 21.9 miles, which is longer than the 21.3 they have posted.

    That 2:20 lap was at a pretty deliberate pace for me. I'm honestly not sure I'll be able to go under 7 hours for the race on this new course. For what it's worth, I'm 170 lbs and my FTP is around 290 watts. As a reference, I did the old rattler course a couple years ago in ~5:45 when I was 20 pounds heavier and less fit. I was also on a plus-tire long travel trail bike vs. the XC bike I'm currently riding. I think average finish times will be around 90 minutes longer on this new course. Less difference for the mountain goats and bigger difference for the bigger folks. I'm on a diet between now and the race...

    I do think the course will get significantly faster in a couple years once all the new loose gravel/rock sections get worked in, but the current course really keeps the speed down on sections where there is lots of free speed to be had.

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    Since its saying 100% chance for rain Saturday morning, does anyone know how this course will be in the rain? Is it mostly rocky and tolerates rain well or is it going to be swamp like or slick? Thanks!

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    I was finally able to make it 30 miles in 1:56 on the MTB and I'm going to make a hard pass on the Rattler this year, but next year I will be there for sho!!

    For everyone that is going to give it a shot, GOOD LUCK and have a great time!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DITD View Post
    Since its saying 100% chance for rain Saturday morning, does anyone know how this course will be in the rain? Is it mostly rocky and tolerates rain well or is it going to be swamp like or slick? Thanks!
    Reveille peak is famous for being rideable after/during rain. The tricky part is that the areas Reveille is known for (all the granite sections) are not the bulk of the rattler course. I think the trails we'll be riding will be fine, but I'm curious how the creek crossings will be. If it rains heavy (and that's the forecast), I assume those creeks will swell quickly. There are 4-5 creek crossing on the route and they are typically shallow and rideable. Creeks can quickly become rivers in the hill country when it rains hard. The current forecast is 100% chance of AM thunderstorms, so I'm betting on a late start. That's better than starting and having a bunch of folks out on course when lightning cancels the race.

    Also, I noticed they are using the time cutoffs for the old rattler course for this new location. You have to finish within 7 hours and time cuttoff to start the 3rd lap is 12:45 (4 hours and 45 minutes). Even with good conditions, I don't think half the field will hit those cutoff times unless they change the course from what I've been pre-riding. If you are not averaging ~2:20/lap, you won't even be able to start the 3rd lap. There are only 2 people on strava that have ridden a loop of that course in under 2:30 (only 11 people have uploaded their rides on the new course, so not a good sample size, but still a decent indication). I think they will adjust the course down a little and also probably need to adjust time cutoffs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DITD View Post
    Since its saying 100% chance for rain Saturday morning, does anyone know how this course will be in the rain? Is it mostly rocky and tolerates rain well or is it going to be swamp like or slick? Thanks!
    This ranch is notorious for being the only place in the state you can ride in a downpour let alone after a rain. Ive almost exclusively ridden this trail the weekend of big rain when all other trails are no-go,

    The grit in your brakes and chain is enough to drive you nuts, but that grit is a fine granite dust that drains like no other and does not clog tires or frames. I would carry a rag and have a bottle to squirt down the grit.


    The old Rocky Hill course is a red clay nightmare in the rain. Completely different.

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    That awesome to hear FJSnoozer!! Thanks for the info blutow! Should be a great weekend.... Cant wait to get down there..

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    Weather is looking up - Only 80% chance of thunderstorms now..., but clearing by noon.

    Also, they have added an hour to the cuttoff times for last lap and finish time (reflected on the website, but not in the athlete guide yet). Much more reasonable.

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    Walked around the ranch earlier today , there will be rain but the weather forecast is better then the original forecasts earlier this week , Good luck all!

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    Good luck to everyone!!!!
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    The race got cut down to 2 laps due to weather, but still a fun day. All the pre-riding that happened this week really improved loose sections. I was doing 2:15 laps in training and both my laps were under 2 hours today (on similar power), so the course was much faster.

    I was nowhere close to qualifying on time (18th in my age groups), but I ended up with a lottery spot for leadville. Felt pretty lucky, I'd estimate around 100 folks waiting at the end for 25 lottery coins.

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    Congrats on the spot! Yeah, our Texas was a bit crazy yesterday. Once it got East of Austin, Tornados started really devastating small towns. Hearne, Franklin and others..
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    Old thread, but the 2020 race is still planned as a socially distanced time trial start and is still on for 11/7 (date moved to fall from spring).

    Curious on tire choice for those that did it last year. I expect that fast rolling XC tires are choice for this course rather than something burlier. I'm coming from CO so I don't expect the trails will be overly technical, but that said I usually ride a 2.4 beefier front tire like a Forekaster for riding in CO but am planning to ride 2.25 Vittoria Mezcals for Rattler. Despite living in CO currently I'm not an awesome descender (converted triathlete) and was a little worried that there might be short yet steep descents into sharp turns with loose soil where it'd be too easy to have my front tire wash out riding an XC race tire?

    Probably overthinking it but figured was worth asking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tgarson View Post
    Old thread, but the 2020 race is still planned as a socially distanced time trial start and is still on for 11/7 (date moved to fall from spring).

    Curious on tire choice for those that did it last year. I expect that fast rolling XC tires are choice for this course rather than something burlier. I'm coming from CO so I don't expect the trails will be overly technical, but that said I usually ride a 2.4 beefier front tire like a Forekaster for riding in CO but am planning to ride 2.25 Vittoria Mezcals for Rattler. Despite living in CO currently I'm not an awesome descender (converted triathlete) and was a little worried that there might be short yet steep descents into sharp turns with loose soil where it'd be too easy to have my front tire wash out riding an XC race tire?

    Probably overthinking it but figured was worth asking.
    FWIW I would run a forekaster/aspen combo. Possibly recon race rear. That place is extremely rocky if they want it to be. Not sure about the 3020 loop.

    Good news is it grips in rain out there because itís all granite


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